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If you find it strange that the three Connecticut men--publicly appearing related to the largest win in Connecticut and12th largest in Powerball history--didn't seem to be smiling, then you're not alone. One man claims none of the three actually bought or purchased that winning lottery ticket that totaled $254 million in pre-tax jackpot winnings. He says an anonymous, fourth party is involved.
The rumor: A fourth participant is thought to have bought the winning Powerball ticket in one of the biggest Powerball lottery wins of all time. There's now claim that the three men supposedly associated with the winnings they came forward to receive on November 2, 2001 -- and their (or someone's) attorney -- may be covering for a winner who plans to stay anonymous.
Three unsmiling guys posed for the camera and snapshots while handed one of those very large checks on-stage. Greg Skidmore, Brandon Lacoff and Tim Davidson appeared for what was supposed to be a celebratory event. But speculations arose after photo after photo showed what appeared to be a not-so-happy group -- accompanied by an attorney who refused to have any of the men speak at a public appearance.
Unhappy lottery winners are a bit suspect. And that, of course, got the press digging. Those men are now confirmed as working for an asset management firm in Greenwich. They presented themselves and came forward as the lottery winners this week. But some say that's not the case.
The appearing lawyer says the trio formed a trust to manage the money win -- supposedly after Davidson purchased the $1 winning ticket at a Stamford gas station. But watch out for landlords. Thomas Gladstone, who claims to be landlord for the company, allegedly claims surprise over discovering Lacoff to be a Powerball winner. He says the guy made no mention of the win -- leading to a call from Gladstone to Lacoff. And Gladstone's been issuing statement to the media, which includes the idea that Lacoff claims he didn't in fact win the lottery but is representing the man who is the winner -- a man who's staying anonymous.
Supposedly that person's remaining on the down-low based on the idea that winners get harassed after the event. There's also the idea known as friends or family who'd prefer to get their hands on that cash.
Putnam Avenue Family Trust has issued lots of vagueness including the statement that there's been speculation and misinformation. No kidding. That may have something to do with a clear lack of communication if in fact it's true that none of the three who appeared are actually the lottery winner. Putnam Avenue Family Trust claims the trust has been established to manage winnings and help those who can benefit from the money. Yep. The company does indeed win the vagueness award.
It seems a smart move to deter more probing: The trust promises distribution of $1 million to veteran-related organizations in the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut area. That's occurring almost immediately in about a week's time. Oh, and Putnam claims there's no fourth person involved aside from the named three. According to Putnam, this is just "the first stop" on a road to philanthropy in months and years to come. But it's a very wise move to ensure those months occur because there's lots of questions.
Gladstone claims the anonymous winner is actually the trust's beneficiary -- while the trust spokesman insists there is no secret winner. But if there's no secret lottery winner, there's certainly lots of strangeness and the obvious instruction for everyone to keep mum.
The press conference where the men and attorney appeared has to rank among the weirdest, ever, with cameras rolling to record the unhappy looks on all three faces. When a media rep asked if the lawyer would put one of the three supposed winners up to the mic, for a statement, attorney Jason Kurland refused. It may not have been curt, but it wasn't well-rehearsed -- and doesn't maintain the appearance that what's being claimed necessarily matches what's occurring. The media's been pretty much unable to get another word out of either the lawyer or any of those three guys.
The Connecticut Lottery Corporation won't confirm or deny rumors -- but is processing the payout for the three men who came forward to accept the prize money, claiming obligation to pay the "bearer of the instrument" aka as the winning lottery ticket presented. And perhaps someone is looking forward to some related taxes over earnings.
All three men of the men are employed with Belpointe, a company providing investment advice and managing roughly $82 million per the SEC. What seems to be pretty much the only statement from any of the men has been reference to the concept that Connecticut charities are going to benefit. But that part remains extremely unclear.
The after-tax chunk of cash for the winners is said to range between $103 to $108 million. While the guys' attorney seems to be presenting that scenario with claims that "everybody is extremely excited," because it's supposedly going to "benefit many people," as of now less than 1/100th has been promised.